The centerpiece of Coalfield’s operation is its Quality Jobs Initiative (QJI), a program that employs local youth – recent high school graduates to those in their twenties – to be boots on the ground for the organization’s construction, deconstruction, and rehabilitation projects. The QJI is uniquely manifested via the 33-6-3 model. This numeric moniker describes what Coalfield believes is a well-rounded and complete approach to laying the foundation for a quality life. Participants in the QJI are expected to complete 33 hours per week of paid manual labor, attend six credit hours of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses toward an applied science degree at a community college, and complete three hours per week of life skills training.
The 33 aspect is straight-forward. Managed by crew chief Larry Endicott, the QJI crew meets at 6:30 a.m. to start the day’s work. Crew members learn comprehensive aspects of general contracting and construction practices, from proper tool use and measurement techniques to plumbing and electrical wiring. The crew also does deconstruction of dilapidated structures. After demolition, Coalfield recycles, resells, or even repurposes materials – the QJI desk in the office is constructed from repurposed doors and other materials, serving as a symbol for the initiative’s resourceful attitude. Dennison claims around 80% of deconstructed material is reused, with only 20% going to landfills. In a recent project, Coalfield gutted a 10,000 square foot building utilizing only a single construction dumpster.